HC Deb 24 July 2002 vol 389 cc1300-1W
Andrew Bennett

To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department if she will list the total fines imposed in each of the last three years for each magistrates court area in Greater Manchester; what percentage of fines was collected in each area in each year; what percentage of fines was written off in each year in each area; and what progress is being made in improving the enforcement ratio. [70723]

Yvette Cooper

Magistrates courts committees have a responsibility for the collection of a range of debts imposed by the courts. including not only fines but also fees, compensation, confiscation orders, legal aid contributions and some maintenance orders. It is not possible to separate out just fines from the total.

The figures for the magistrates courts areas within Greater Manchester are contained in the table.

The Government are committed to improving the enforcement of financial penalties. Variations in performance across the country are too wide. We transferred lead responsibility for warrant execution from the police to magistrates courts committees (MCCs) on 1 April 2001, giving MCCs control over the whole enforcement process.

We have established an information sharing scheme, which enables magistrates courts to obtain basic information on defaulters from the Department for Work and Pensions. We have set performance targets for

Greater Manchester magistrates courts committee
Imposed (£) Percentage paid Percentage amount written off
April 1999-March 2000
Trafford 4,728,186 24 9
Tameside 1,861,182 57 13
Stockport 2,227,346 49 1
Oldham 1,106,743 101 57
North and West Manchester (includes Rochdale, Wigan, Leigh and Bury) 10,727,563 60 23
Manchester 6,035,529 49 36
April 2000-March 2001
Trafford 3,951,052 33 35
Tameside 1,776,096 54 22
Stockport 1,558,011 89 35
Oldham 1,063,770 114 50
North and West Manchester (includes Rochdale, Wigan, Leigh and Bury) 9,921,380 63 30
Manchester 6,700,253 52 35
April 2001-March 2002
Trafford 4,302,658 28 6
Tameside 1,334,217 71 30
Stockport 1,381,183 92 30
Oldham 1,028,870 106 46
Salford 931,028 123 52
Bolton 1,448,566 97 18
Wigan (includes Bury, Leigh and Rochdale) 6,329,356 54 21
Manchester 6,278,014 52 40
1 Date not available

Following the amalgamation in April 2001 there was a change of areas making up Greater Manchester magistrates court committee.

Please note that information regarding debt is calculated over a rolling year and that the percentages paid and written off in each area could also include amounts that were imposed in previous years. This is why the amount recorded as paid in any one year can exceed the amount imposed.